Injunction issued on West Nile vaccine ad campaign

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The federal court in the Northern District of Georgia issued a preliminary injunction in May ordering Fort Dodge Animal Health to halt an advertising campaign that claims its Innovator equine vaccine for West Nile virus is more effective than Merial's Recombitek vaccine.

After reviewing the evidence submitted by Merial and Fort Dodge, the court found that Fort Dodge's claims that Innovator is more effective than Recombitek in advertisements, on its Web site, and in other promotional materials, as well as statements made by a Fort Dodge Animal Health representative at a veterinary conference, were "literally false."

The court also found that no study has proved or concluded that Fort Dodge's Innovator is more effective than Recombitek.

The Fort Dodge advertisements showed a bar graph comparing two separate studies that applied different challenge models and involved different biological and environmental factors. The court stated that there was no statistical difference in efficacy rates presented on the bar graph and that the comparison was "literally false on its face."

The court order applies while Merial's false advertising lawsuit against Fort Dodge is pending.